- A growing number of companies are offering 'returnship' programs to bring men and women back to full time working status from being stay-at-home parents, says Arlene S. Hirsch, contributing to the SHRM blog.
- It's a powerful tool for bringing more women into the workforce too. According to a Harvard Business Review report, around 93% of women who have taken a break from a career for personal reasons look forward to returning to work full time, but less than half actually do so. Tami Forman, executive director of Path Forward, says that this helps to advance gender diversity and fills the recruitment pipeline with capable, proven professionals who are suitable for leadership roles.
- Companies in the financial and technical sectors are experiencing outstanding results from returnship programs. PayPal, GVS Labs, and JP Morgan have all launched successful re-entry programs, with many more companies following suit.
It's important for companies to not only staff for entry level positions, but also hire great people for mid-level positions in order to grow a strong skill base. The programs tap into an already proven market of mid-career professionals who have briefly taken time away from a career to care for dependents or go back go college. Just because they have been away doesn't make them less valuable. In fact, it can be quite the contrary as they've learned new skills, managed to juggle more responsibilities, and probably picked up some additional education along the way.
Credit Suisse has an 11-week program that slowly orients returning adults to the company culture, and this can be a way to make sure that returning professionals can handle this transition back into the full time workforce. This could be an example for other organizations that want to successfully bring employees back after extended periods of absence, such as FMLA leaves. Having onsite services for daycare and flexible scheduling can also support moms and dads returning to work full-time.